- "This must be the Land of the dandelion warriors. Now I've got to find a star urchin. I guess this is the place"
- ―Wicket W. Warrick
Fftssfft, also known by the Ewoks as "dandelion warriors," were a semi-sapient botanical species characterized by their thicket of sharp yellow quills. They grew in a meadow on the surface of the Forest Moon of Endor, east of the moon's Great Forest. Like all vegetal species, the fftssfft had roots that conveyed water and nourishment to the rest of their bodies, but they were also able to move about. They protected their grasslands with great ferocity—when they detected movement on their territory, they used the strange quills that covered their heads by hurling them at trespassers. Their reason for killing, however, was purely territorial, and the fftssfft would usually remain immobile in the absence of intruders.
The Ewoks of Bright Tree Village, who lived to the West of the grasslands, usually avoided crossing the territory of those they had nicknamed "dandelion warriors." However, in 3.5 ABY, the ffsstfft fought off what they perceived as a home invasion, when the Gupin Mring-Mring set foot on their territory. Shortly afterwards, an Ewok named Wicket Wystri Warrick—who was in search of a star urchin quill that would help him cure his dying father Deej Warrick—into the dandelion warriors' high grasses and freed the Mring-Mring, which provoked an aggressive response from the plant-like beings. The Ewok and his new Gupin companion escaped unhurt from the incident.
Biology and appearance
- "But dandelions can't move. They're only plants."
- ―Wicket Wystri Warrick, making erroneous assumptions about the fftssfft
A semi-sentient species, the fftssfft belonged to the native flora of Endor, a lush moon orbiting a gas giant planet of the same name. Those animated plants grew in a meadow located in the leading edge of the Endor grasslands, to the East of the Great Forest. Being botanical creatures, the fftssfft drew all the sustenance they needed directly from the soil of their meadow through their roots. However, while most plants grew in a permanent site, some were capable of movement when they needed better soils or light, and the fftssfft were among them.
From a distance, the fftssfft appeared to be ordinary, over one meter tall plants with blue or green stems sporting yellow inflorescences. In the eyes of uninformed Ewoks, a race of diminutive beings native to Endor, they looked beautiful and hardly dangerous when observed from afar. However, when they needed to defend their territory, the fftssfft emerged from their lethargy. Their eyes flashed open, their limb extended from their thick body-stems, and they started walking towards the intruders. On closer inspection, one could see that the fftssfft were roughly humanoid in structure, with a tall stem as a torso, a head that bore a tufty corolla, two shoots used as arms and two spindly roots used as feet. Their "faces" featured a pair of glowing red or pink eyes and a beak-like appendage. When the fftssfft remained immobile in the grass, they wore their petals down like a conical hat or an umbrella. But as soon as they adopted an alert posture, the quills rose on their heads, forming an egg-shaped thicket of spines.
Their fighting skills, however, did not rely on their ability to walk, since they were slow movers. Once they were close enough to their victim, the fftssfft would stop and lower their heads to aim the target before firing off a bundle of their petals. Those yellow petals were in fact sharp quills that could injure or even kill those whom they hit. One out of every one hundred quills was envenomed. That "star urchin quill" would break open when it struck flesh, taking a distinctive starburst shape and releasing its venom into the victim's blood.
Society and culture
The fftssfft were very territorial creatures, and they defended their growing land with ferocity. However, they only attacked other beings when they felt their territory was threatened, and they would usually stand still when nobody came around. They were sentient enough to make ropes and use them to bind their enemies. The fftssfft also possessed their own language, which required no phonatory organs. It consisted of hissing sounds produced by forcing air through tiny pores in their stems. The bear-like Ewoks feared the fftssfft and christened them "dandelion warriors" in reference to their bellicose attitude. Because of the dandelion warriors' fierce presence in the grasslands of Endor, few Ewoks ever crossed the area to reach the neighboring land of the Gupins. However, despite their redoubtable natural defenses, the fftssfft suffered from predation by other species like the brutish Grass Trekkers from the Desert of Salma.
In the year 3 ABY, the land of the dandelion warriors was visited by a Gupin named Mring-Mring, a gnome-like changeling who had been exiled from his people's fortress. The angry ffsstfft caught the trespasser and tied him with a rope to a tree stump that stood in their meadow. Shortly afterwards, the dandelion warriors detected another intrusion, when the Ewok Wicket Wystri Warrick set foot on their territory in search of a star urchin quill he needed to cure his ailing father Deej Warrick. While Warrick tried to untangle the captive Gupin, the ffsstfft reacted and moved into attack position, ready to hurl their sharp quills at both outsiders. However, the trespassers escaped the encounter unharmed.
Ffsstfft in the galaxy
- "High risk! High reward! Be a gladiator in the Big Game!"
- ―Advertisement for ther Big Game
Although the ffsstfft were only semi-sentient, some had found their way offworld by the time of the Galactic Civil War. They took part in the Big Game, a daily gladiator fight staged by Administrator Simon Greyshade to amuse the guests on the luxury space station known as the Wheel. In that context, the ffsstfft were considered to be among the best warriors in the galaxy, on par with much bigger races such as the Catumen, the Wookiees or the Bitthævrians.
Behind the scenes
The fftssfft made their first appearance in To Save Deej, the fourth episode in the Ewoks animated television series. In the episode, which was written by Bob Carrau, they were only referred to as "dandelion warriors." Their native name was only revealed in Castaways of Endor, an article written by Daniel Wallace and illustrated by Robin Pronovost for Hyperspace. In 2013, they were briefly mentioned in Part 1 of Viva Space Vegas! The History of the Marvelous Wheel, a series of articles written by Abel G. Peña and Rich Handley for the official StarWars.com blog.
- Ewoks—"To Save Deej" (First appearance)
- To Save Deej storybook
- Wicket and the Dandelion Warriors: An Ewok Adventure
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- (First identified as Fftssfft)
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (As "dandelion warrior," "urchin")